I went to the doctor’s office last week. I have a lot of different medical conditions, and as we were discussing one of them, my doctor suggested that I go on a particular medication to try and ameliorate one of the symptoms of this disease. However, this particular drug is contraindicated in patients who have a clotting disorder, which I have. My doctor knows of my clotting condition, yet wasn’t thinking of it, or the side effects of the drug, when she suggested it.
I reminded her of my clotting disorder, and she agreed that I should not be on the suggested medication. No harm, no foul.
I couldn’t keep from wondering about other patients. What if they didn’t know the ramifications a medication could have on other medical conditions that they have? What if they blindly trusted the suggestions of their doctor?
It’s not a question of the doctor’s culpability — everyone makes mistakes and can’t be expected to keep everything in mind. This is why on most patient’s medical charts, a list of their allergies is featured prominently. So that a medication to which the patient is allergic would not be accidentally prescribed. However, I am not aware of any such alert system for other medications which might be contraindicated for whatever reason.
Perhaps another section should be featured on medical records? A list of medications which should not be prescribed for the specific patient?